Terraces can increase the usability of a hill for gardening. By gardening in terraces, you can grow virtually any flower or vegetable normally associated with flat ground gardening. If you are designing your terraces from scratch, be sure to design them with adequate access space for garden maintenance and harvesting. If you can, design in a water drainage system that routes excess water on upper terraces down to lower terraces.
When planting flowers in a terraced garden, use the differing heights of the beds to help create a vertical wall of color. By planting tall flowers with large blooms in the top with intermediate bushy flowering plants in the middle levels and planting shorter, more delicate and detailed flowers on the lower levels, you can create an impressive wall of flowering vegetation.
By placing smaller, more delicate flowers in the lower portions closer to the front, you are creating more visual interest and detail in your garden. Using larger flowers at the back means their color and forms will be noticeable from a longer viewing distance.
When planting a terraced vegetable garden, plant taller plants or plants that grow on vines on the higher levels toward the back of the garden. This will ensure easy access to mid and low growing plants on lower levels of the garden. In some cases, you may be able to drape vine growing vegetables like cucumbers over the front of a higher level so it drapes down into the next level. You can plant a taller plant like corn behind the vining plant.
Plant your root vegetables, like carrots, potatoes, or radishes, in the lower levels. These tend to not grow as tall and will make accessing your upper vegetables easier.
With some terraces, you might consider planting both flowers and vegetables in the same terrace. If you use very bright flowers in the lower levels, you can create a green contrasting backdrop of vegetables in the background. Use similar techniques in planting. Plant taller plants at the back and fill your low, front beds with short, detailed colorful flowers.